Candidate Linked to Bribery Scandal Turns Out for $10 Million Campaign to Increase Latino Turnout

Candidate Linked to Bribery Scandal Turns Out for $10 Million Campaign to Increase Latino Turnout

By Corinne Murdock |

A progressive Phoenix-based nonprofit announced it would invest $10 million in Arizona to rally the Latino voter base for the upcoming midterm elections. The nonprofit, Chicanos Por La Causa (CPLC), announced the $10 million campaign last Thursday. 

Present at the campaign launch was Democrat gubernatorial candidate and former Obama administration official Marco Lopez, discovered in recent months to be tied to an $800 million international political bribery scandal involving a construction conglomerate.

CPLC’s political action committee (PAC) endorsed Lopez last December.

As reported, Lopez’s company received $35,000 from the construction conglomerate for several months of work on former Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto’s 2012 campaign. The $35,000 had ties to a $3 million bribe from a shell company trading campaign money for public works contracts. A shell company from Peña Nieto’s former campaign lieutenant gave a payout to Lopez from the millions afforded by the bribe money. 

Lopez denied any wrongdoing. He indicated that his opponent, Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, was behind the investigative reports. 

Lopez wasn’t the only controversial face present. Progressive nonprofits Mi Familia Vota (MFV) and Promise Arizona (PAZ) were there as well: they’re helping the CPLC initiative. The nonprofits aim to increase Arizona’s Latino voter base by a minimum of two percentage points, from around 14 to 16 percent. 

MFV has kept busy this month. After Governor Doug Ducey approved legislation requiring proof of citizenship for voter registration, the social justice organization sued state officials. MFV received the help of Hillary Clinton’s Russiagate hoax lawyer, Marc Elias, to file the lawsuit. 

PAZ has recently recovered from connections to a different scandal. Former State Senator Tony Navarrete (D-Phoenix) served as their deputy director for a decade, up until his arrest for molestation. Navarrete faces seven felony charges. According to their leadership, Navarrete apprised the nonprofit of relevant legislation. 

According to the Census Bureau’s latest population estimates, about 32 percent of Arizona’s population is Hispanic or Latino: around 2.3 out of the 7.3 million people in the state. 

During the 2018 midterms, there were over 3.7 million registered voters with nearly 65 percent voter turnout. 

As of January, Arizona listed over 4.35 million registered voters: 34.5 percent Republican, nearly 31.4 percent Democratic, and over 33.3 percent “other.” Less than one percent registered as Libertarian.

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to corinne@azfreenews.com.